True Worship

Many Christians ask themselves what worshipping God looks like (here assuming the Biblical understanding of God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)? These are well-meaning individuals who want to follow the Law and please God, but they misunderstand the Law and its purpose. Worship is not about us pleasing God. Of course God is pleased when the orphans and widows are cared for, and when His Christians fight against the works of the Devil and Flesh, but these acts are not the center of worship, nor its fullest expression. Our true worship as Christians is to call upon God in every trouble, to pray, praise, and give thanks, to trust that God is OUR God, and that He cares for us. It is to believe His Word and take  to heart that what He says, all of what He says, is for us and our salvation. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, written by the courageous Phillip Melanchthon against the idea that love justifies, understands worship of Christ in these terms. He draws upon the image of the woman who had come to Christ in the Pharisee’s home, who was cleaning His feet with her tears and hair, seeking the Messiah, to prove the true fr. Here I quote the Apology, Article V, paragraphs 31-34 (152-155)

The woman came with the opinion that forgiveness of sins should be sought in Christ. This worship is the highest worship of Christ. She could think nothing greater about Christ. To seek forgiveness of sins from Him was truly to acknowledge the Messiah. To think of Christ this way, to worship Him this way, to embrace Him this way, is truly to believe.”

True worship of God the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit is to believe what He says in his Word, to recognize our great Sin and seek mercy from Him where He has given it out in abundance. We grasp Him, we embrace Him, as He embraces us and grasps us in Word and Sacrament. There in Baptism he takes you to be His own. In the Lord’s Supper He offers Himself to you for the forgiveness of your sins. This is the highest, the purest, worship of God, worship free from our hypocrisy, that we have anything worthy in ourselves to come before Him. We stand before Him with open hands and ears and mouths to receive his promised mercy. There Christ, our Redeemer, is giving out His gifts. All is ready. Amen.


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